Williamson Central Appraisal District
Board of Directors Meeting
Jon Lux, Chairman, called the regular meeting of the Williamson Central Appraisal District Board of Directors to order Thursday, September 14, 2023, at 9:06 AM. Board members present: Jon Lux, Harry Gibbs, Lora Weber, Mason Moses, and Larry Gaddes. Hope Hisle-Piper was absent. Quorum declared.
Some of the District’s management staff were in attendance.
Receipt of Public Comments
There were no public comments.
2024 Budget Workshop
Entity Budget Overview Meetings.
Lankford informed the Board of the budget overview meetings that were scheduled. He indicated that the entities that were met with recently were alerted to the public Board election costs. They had no issues with the unfunded liability. He mentioned that these meeting were going well.
Assigned Obligated Funds
Lankford reminded the board we have $349,964 of unobligated funds left over from the 2022 budget. We are suggesting using $50,000 to buydown the 2024 budget, obligate $114,619 to street level imaging reserve, obligated $185,345 to the building reserve since this reserve has been depleted due to paying off the District’s building. Harry discussed taking the $50,000 away from the buydown. Lankford did not recommend removing the buydown since it was sent out in the June proposed budget.
Lankford remind the members that, at their last meeting, they had approved going with Blue Cross Blue Shield. He indicated that so far, the transition was going smoothly. He reminded the Board that the amount given to dependent coverage was adjusted to better match what Williamson County was doing. Lankford indicated that the insurance line item had gone down slightly compared to what was approved at the June Board Meeting.
2024 Budget Review
Lankford discussed the budget increase to the Board of Directors line item which now includes the election cost of $350,000; this was an unfunded mandate. He also discussed the consulting / professional services category. He announced that the District’s auditing firm had informed the District of an increase of $5,000 in their fees, due to their issues of keeping personnel. Lankford announced one change in the Appraisal Review Board advertising line item which was increased slightly.
Public Hearing on 2024 Proposed Budget
Lux opened the public hearing for the 2024 proposed budget. There were no public comments. The public hearing was closed.
Taxpayer Liaison Officer’s Report
Report on Property Owner Contacts
Glenda Williams, the District’s Taxpayer Liaison Officer (TLO), was present to report on the status of her contact with property owners.
Assigned Obligated Funds
Moses moved to obligate a total of $349,964 from unobligated funds in the audit for the following purposes: $50,000 to buydown the District’s 2024 budget, obligate $114,619 to the Street Level Imagery reserve account and obligate $185,345 to the District’s building reserve account. Gibbs seconded. The motion carried.
Approval of 2024 Budget (Resolution 2023-02)
Moses made a motion to approve the 2024 budget, resolution #2023-02, as submitted with a 4% merit salary increase and a 2% Cost of Living Adjustment for employees: for a total budget amount of $13,170,300. Weber seconded. The motion carried
Chief Appraiser Review Questions
Lankford discussed the Chief Appraiser evaluation document and indicated the need to identify those questions that will be used for the stipend calculations. He also proposed, with the new publicly elected Board members joining the rest of the Board, having a contract for the Chief Appraiser. Lux felt having something in place to make things more stable made sense, Moses agreed. Lankford would like to get this done before the end of the year.
No action taken.
Depository Signature Authorization (Resolution 2023-03)
Lankford discussed the fact that, with the Director of Operations taking on a new role, the District had moved Jessica Miller into this position. With that change, the depository signature authorization for check signing would need to be updated.
Weber made a motion to adopt resolution 2023-03 authorizing Alvin Lankford, Chris Connelly, Aaron Moore, and Jessica Miller as the District’s eligible individuals to provide signatures on District checks. Moses seconded. The motion carried.
Employee Holiday Approval
Lankford reminded the Board that each year they approve the District’s holidays for the next 12 months. He also mentioned that the District generally follows the holiday schedule of the County.
Weber moved to approve the employee holidays as presented. Gibbs seconded. The motion carried.
Consent / Possible Action Items
The consent agenda includes non-controversial and routine items that the Board may act on with one single vote. Any Board member may pull any item from the consent agenda in order that the Board discuss and act upon it individually as part of the regular agenda.
Consent Agenda Items:
Approval of Minutes of the Board of Directors for the regular meeting – July 12, 2023
Approval of Minutes of the Board of Directors for the regular meeting – August 2, 2023
Quarterly Investment Report
Quarterly Taxing Unit Payments
Moses moved to approve the consent agenda as presented, Items IX. A-E. Gibbs seconded. The motion carried.
Chief Appraiser’s Report
New Manager Introductions
Lankford informed the members that the District had hired Marta Lopez as its Customer Services Manager; Lopez replaces Jamie Radke who had left employment. He also announced, with Jessica Miller moving to Director of Operations, Amanda Bayler has moved to the Assistant Director of Operations. He also indicated that the District typically has two residential managers. He introduced Amber Jones who had been named the co-manager of the Residential Appraisal team alongside Victor Longstreth.
Protest Season Update
Lankford complimented the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) on how well they had performed this year. He announced that they were underbudget and even though the protest level was the same as in the previous year, we were able to certify early in part due to how smoothly the ARB ran this year.
Lankford discussed Senate Bill 2 and the election of new board members regarding Board’s in populous counties. This eliminates Tax Code Section 6.034. The Board will start a four-year term, starting in 2026 they will serve staggered terms. This also eliminates Section 6.10 of the Code disapproval of Board actions. There will now be nine members on the Board and the tax assessor collector will now be a voting member. Lankford announced that term limits will still exist, five-year terms. There are still some unknowns, but eligibility requirements will still apply. Lankford discussed the process and mentioned a $400 filing fee. Gibbs inquired if staff or Board members could support running mates. Lankford did not believe so. Moses mentioned that District funds cannot be used for this purpose. He suggested contacting the District’s attorney to discuss this issue with staff. Weber mentioned that these calls should be sent to Lankford.
Lankford also discussed some changes to the process for the Taxpayer Liaison Officer (TLO). He mentioned that the TLO provides materials designed to inform taxpayers and that they can have a deputy TLO. Property owners can now offer written complaints.
Weber left the meeting at 10:33 AM.
Board of Directors Election
Lankford discussed the Board election process. Lux inquired how the vacancy would work if a current member were to be appointed and then runs for public election and was elected. Lankford discussed this process.
Property Owner Surveys
Lankford announced that the District’s Property Owner Surveys were excellent again this year.
Tax Rate Website
Lankford indicated that the Tax Rate Website was up and running. He announced that the District’s entities were in the process of updating their information on the website.
Lankford announced that the District’s management team had their annual Planning Session. He also discussed a presentation for Blockhouse Creek MUD which was well received. Lankford indicated that he and Gibbs would be presenting at the Chief Appraiser Institute on Monday.
2024 WCAD Goals
- Queuing system – will be revamped. The current system has become outdated.
- Enhancements for online protest.
- Community outreach – video updates – new homeowners.
Lawsuit, Arbitration and SOAH Reports
Lankford reviewed the lawsuit and arbitration reports. There were no State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) on which to report.
WCAD Christmas Party
Lankford reminded the Board of the District’s upcoming Christmas Party. This event will take place in the evening on December 2nd at the American Legion Hall in Round Rock.
Board Agenda Additions for Future Meetings
- Contract for the Chief Appraiser
Lux announced that his daughter got married last weekend, and Gaddes’ son was accepted to Texas State.
The Board had previously set the following meeting dates:
- Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at 9 AM.
- Thursday, November 16, 2023 at 9 AM. – The Board mentioned possibly moving this meeting to November 15th.
The regular meeting adjourned at 10:56 AM.
Jon Lux, Chairman Lora H. Weber, Secretary